Oh, how I hate being anxious. I used to think my stomach issues were food related, but now I’m not so sure. I’m used to living day-to-day with some stability and consistency, but living in a third-world country doesn’t promise that. Ever. 

I feel like I’m in shoulder deep water with little breathing space as I’m facing issues beyond my ability and beyond my control. I literally cannot handle these things things from a mere human perspective. I just can’t. Trust me, I’ve tried. 

All the while I hear Jesus say, “Oh, ye of little faith.” I sorta despise these words; but at the same time, they bring comfort because they’re always followed by, “Don’t fret. I’m in control.”

Although trusting that is easier said than done, I can rest assured that He is with me. And not only so, but he has also gone before me. He will provide. He will satisfy. He will be my source of rest. He will be my refuge. He will redeem. He will uphold me. He is Almighty God.

Thus far, life on the mission field has been far from easy. I’m currently in a season where struggle & anxiety are often found. This morning, however, I was deeply encouraged by these truths from Philippians. So although things have been more difficult than anticipated and I know harder situations will come, I know that with the help of Jesus, I can stand firm in these truths as I run towards Him. 

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me.

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. 

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 

(Phil 1:12-14, 19-22, 27, 3:7-14, 4:4-8)

I WISH I WAS BLACK

Can I be honest with you? Sometimes, I wish I was black. Doing ministry in a third-world country makes things interesting, especially considering a massive majority has the opposite skin color of my own. [Beautiful dark skin, I must add.] Everywhere I go, I am labeled as the “blan” who has loads of money and is automatically seen as better than everyone else. Blending is the furthest thing from possible.  
But if my skin color creates such problems, why would I be called to this place? 
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Good question. I really hope you were not looking for an answer, because I do not have one. I often question why the Lord would call me to a place I am unfamiliar with and to a people I do not really relate to.  But then again, I remember Apostle Paul’s calling:
"…Paul said: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison,  as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished…When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance and saw the Lord speaking to me. ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.’ ‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’” - Paul, Acts 22:3-5, 17-21
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Paul’s conversion could have been a great example of Jesus’ transforming power to his fellow Jews. And he was not just any Jew. He was top notch, trained under the best of the best, and one who persecuted many Christians. However, God decided that it would be best to call Paul elsewhere: to a people he heavily tormented, to a people he did not relate to, to a people who disliked him. I am not exactly sure why God chose this route for Paul, but the fruit of his ministry is quite evident in remainder of the New Testament.

So, what does this truth mean for me exactly? I am not promised to be called to my “area of expertise.” I am not promised to be called to a comfortable place. I am not promised that it will be easy. Although it does not always make sense from a mere earthly perspective, I can rest assured that God knows best.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, 
neither are your ways my ways. 
As the heavens are higher than the earth, 
so are my ways higher than your ways 
and my thoughts than your thoughts.” 
- The Lord, Isaiah 55:8-9
[Side note: I’ve been doing a terrible job at updating my Tumblr. If you wish to follow my day-to-day life, do so on Instagram (@jamiekcurtis). If you are interested reading about my journey, check out my blog at www.jamieinhaiti.com.]
Missions is about the worship of Jesus. The goal of missions is the global worship of Jesus by his redeemed people from every tribe, tongue, and nation…Missions aims at, brings about, and is fueled by the worship of Jesus.
John Piper, Holy Ambition: To Preach Where Christ Has Not Been Named

Haiti Bound: 5 days

I leave for Haiti in less than one week. 5 days to be exact. I thought moving my whole life to California was a challenge. However, I’ve come to realize that moving my life to a third world country is a greater challenge. 

Six months ago, I journeyed to Haiti for the third time to spend time at the school and seek answers from the Lord of whether or not I was supposed to be there for a longer term. While sitting in the window seat on my flight back home, I decided that I would obey God’s call on my life and follow Him to Haiti. A month later (February 28th to be exact), I launched my blog and fundraising campaign. On April 15th, I moved back home to Indiana after living in California for 8 months. On May 20th, I found out that I was fully funded for my 2 year commitment in Haiti.

 It’s been quite the adventure already and I haven’t even arrived to Haiti yet! Because the date is quickly approaching, the move is all becoming real. VERY REAL. It’s hard to believe that it’s actually happening. I’ve realized that I’m really going to miss my family, my dear friends and church family, the ability to make a Wal-Mart run whenever I need something, reliable internet, and being able to talk to whoever I want, when I want. I will miss my best friend having her first baby, a childhood friend’s wedding, Thanksgiving with family, and potentially even Christmas at home.
Although thinking about all of that at once is overwhelming, I can’t help but think of these encouraging words from Paul: "Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,  that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Phil. 3:8-11)
As I settle into my new home and my dream becomes a reality, I pray that I would never lose sight of Jesus. Jesus is the only reason I am going and He deserves all the glory.  I consider it a great privilege that He chose me to partake in this sort of Kingdom work. And when suffering comes, both great and small, I pray for perseverance. That I will press on towards the goal as I run to my Savior.
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You may fear that the Lord has passed you by, but it is not so: he who counts the stars, and calls them by their names, is in no danger of forgetting his own children. He knows your case as thoroughly as if you were the only creature he ever made, or the only saint he ever loved. Approach him and be at peace.

Charles Spurgeon

I just love this.